On Saturday 10th June, a group of daredevil fundraisers took to the skies for a wing walk in aid of Havens Hospices and have raised over £10,000.
Among them were friends Abi White and Rose Figg who both decided to take on the challenge this year to celebrate their 40th and 50th birthdays. They also wanted to raise money for the charity in memory of loved ones who had been cared for by Havens Hospices. Rose’s husband, Darren Spencer was cared by Fair Havens Macmillan nurses and died at home in 2008. Abi’s mum, Heather White was cared for at home by the charity’s Hospice at Home service before she passed away in 2013.
Both Abi and Rose have supported Havens Hospices since losing their loved ones through fundraising, but wanted to be more actively involved with the charity because they understood how vital the work the hospices undertake is. Rose joined the hospice in 2012 and Abi started volunteering for the charity in 2015. This year they decided to take on a new challenge together for their respective big birthdays, they chose wing walking.
“Every minute of every day, the care staff at Havens Hospices provide an amazing service to patients and their families who are facing a really difficult journey in their lives. I know how hard that journey is and I wanted to mark my half-century by helping the care teams in their superb, dedicated work.
When you hit a big birthday, like your 50th you want to do something memorable and not let it just become another zero. My 40th was marred as I lost Darren that year; so for my 50th year I wanted to remember it for only good reasons and to make once in a lifetime memories. It would also have been Darren’s 50th this year as well so I wanted to celebrate for him as well.
“The wing walk was pure exhilaration, and the uninterrupted views of countryside were amazing; such great colour and clarity! I even got to see a buzzard which was fantastic.
“When I started fundraising I searched for a fun picture of wing-walkers, but the only cartoon I could find was a picture of a walker in a bikini! When I told my friends about it they decided to give me a 50th Birthday dare so I wore a bikini over my clothes on the day.
“My friends and family have been incredibly supportive and I’ve been blown away by their generosity. I wanted to raise £800 but the total currently stands at just over £1400 which is fantastic, so I’d really like to say thank you to everyone who has sponsored or supported me”
“I know first-hand what an important and amazing job everybody at Havens Hospices does. Their Hospice at Home nurses provided Mum, Dad and me with invaluable support and care during the last couple of weeks of my mum's life. Mum was too poorly to be moved from home, but she still received hospice care because the nurses came to her instead – which is just incredible.”
“When Rose told me she was going to ‘fly into her fifties’ I decided to mark my big 4-0 by joining her and taking on the challenge too. I assumed wing walking would be scary and like a rollercoaster, but like Rose said it was exhilarating! It is honestly the best rollercoaster ride I’ve ever been on, I didn’t want it to end!
“It was the perfect way to mark my 40th and also to remember Mum, because I think she would have been incredibly proud of me for taking on the challenge. I also want to thank all my fantastic friends and family who have supported me and helped me raise over £700 for Havens Hospices so they can continue ‘Making every day count’ for more families across Essex just like they did for me and my family.”
Emma Hamilton, Event Fundraiser said
“We must raise over £100,000 a week to be there for everyone who needs us, helping to control pain and medication, offering short breaks and caring for adults and children at the end of their lives. All our care and support is free and that really is only possible because of our amazing supporters and fundraisers like Rose, Abi and all the wing walkers last week. So a massive thank you to all of our amazing wing walkers from everyone at Havens Hospices.”
Registration for the Havens Hospices’ Wing Walk 2018 is now open, for more information or to sign up please go to – www.havenshospices.org.uk/wingwalk